Thursday, October 15, 2009

I got nothing. Except for all these links.

—I attended the Columbus stop of John Porcellino's fall tour promoting his new book, Map of My Heart on Monday night, and I have every intention of writing about it in the very near future. In the mean time, I can assure you that it was not very much like this event at all. (Update: Okay, now I've written and posted it at Blog@. You can read it here Also, check out Aaron Miller's cartoon coverage of the event here).

—Earlier this week, my fellow Blog@ contributor Troy Brownfield wondered aloud about who the mysterious figure behind the door at the first "Cabal" meeting was, the one who was apparently meant to explain-without-explaining why the likes of Dr. Doom and Loki would give Norman Osborn the time of day, let alone ally themselves with him.

I honestly hadn't thought about that scene since Tim O'Neil solved the character's secret identity almost immediately, as I haven't really been following the Marvel Universe mega-story since the Secret Invasion price escalation made reading Marvel Comics prohibitively expensive for me.

Troy makes an excellent case for Mephisto, and given the character's recently revealed ability to re-write Marvel continuity, his presence would even go a long way toward explaining how Norman Osborn went from being just some dick Spider-Man knew to becoming Marvel's Lex Luthor (Maybe it even explains why he looks different in almost every appearance!).

The thing is, I can't imagine Namor seeing Mephisto behind that door and being cowed. Picking Osborn up by the ankles and using him to bludgeon Mephisto seems like the natural Namor response to that situation. Even if Mephisto could hand Namor his Atlantean ass, and if Mephisto is simply Marvel's devil, I assume he can take Namor, I still can't imagine Namor not picking a fight with him.

But then, as I cycle through all the Marvel characters I can think of, I can't come up with any villain, hero or cosmic entity that Namor would be afraid of. His arrogance and willingness to pick a fight with anyone are pretty much his defining characterisics, you know?

Of course, that's the same comic in which Namor looked like this
—so it's not like there's much point in holding that particular comic to any sort of consistency standards.

Whoever that ends up being behind the door, I still find that whole scene hilarious. Like, say it is Mephisto. He just stands around in a room waiting for Osborn to open the door, lets everyone look at him, and then just continues standing there while Osborn shuts the door? He doesn't even say hello, cackle menacingly, hurl any threats or anything? Isn't he bored standing there? Doesn't he have better things to do?

—I was sorry to hear that the planned FCHS collection has been canceled. I was really looking forward to reading that, and I hope the creators can find a way to make it happen. In general, "90210 meets..." is all I need to get me super-excited about something, but in this case, the artwork looked really nice as well.

—I enjoyed reading this well-linked-to post from Scott McCloud regarding the value of comics criticism from a creator's perspective. As a comics critic, I obviously agree with McCloud that there is value in criticism, even the most extremely negative ones based on prejudices or biases. McCloud fails to mention the handsomeness of comics critics though.

—Check out Matthew J. Brady's review of Nomad: Girl Without a World #2 here. I felt kind of bad about not picking up #1 the week it came out, because writer Sean McKeever was doing a signing at my local comics shop that week, and I find myself more inclined to pick up comics when their creators are in the store. It was a $3.99, 22-pager though, so I had a good excuse, and I figured I'd eventually pick up the trade. Now I'm actually eager to pick up the trade, as this second issue apparently features the villain Flag-Smasher, and there is absolutely nothing about Flag-Smasher that I don't love.

—If you read any DC Comics this week, then I'm sure you saw the DC Nation column, which re-ran this news about DC returning some long-canceled books from "the dead," as it were, as part of their "Blackest Night" event. That's honestly a pretty clever gag, clever enough that I'm a lot more inclined to check some of these out on the strength of that gag alone than I would be just another Blackest Night branded miniseries (along the lines of the Batman, Superman and Teen Titans one that are currently in publication).

Oddly, the announcement of the titles focuses only on the characters and the writers, with no mention of the artists involved. That's kind of worrisome, and I hope it's not simply because they're all "TBA." It makes me think it's just going to be whoever's hanging around the office the day the scripts get done (So Scott McDaniel will probably draw half of them, and the other half will have eight artists apiece on each).

I hope they try to get artists from the original, canceled series, to go as far as they can with the concept. Like, Jerry Ordway on Shazam, Peter Snejberg on Starman, Denys Cowan or Question and so on. That doesn't seem to be the case with the writers, with only John Ostrander and James Robinson returning to books they've written at length before.

—I really enjoyed reading Nina Stone's review of the second issue of Image Comics' repackaging of the great Brandon Graham's King City. It basically consists of ten things she really liked about the issue. I remember trying a formal review of the original Tokyopop digest version of the story (it's somewhere in this post), but I think just pointing at random elements and saying "These were awesome" was probably a more effective way to communicate ho good the book is (It's really one of those works that a critic need only point at and suggest "read this, I bet you'll dig it," I think).

Ah, if only it were. Between Miley Montana's departure and Meghan McCain's weird announcements regarding giving up Twitter over reaction to a photo of her breasts she posted, I was getting hopeful that the Twitpocalypse are nigh. Nothing personal against Twitter-ers—it was on Kevin Church's Twitter feed that I found a link to that Telegraph article—but I miss the good old days (i.e. last year) before U.S. Senators were regularly communicating with their constituents in lolcat language and the mainstream media was reporting on Twitter tweets about events instead of the actual events.

—Oh, and I have long, tedious reviews of House of Mystery Halloween Annual #1 and Perhapanauts Halloween Spooktacular #1 up at Blog@, if you'd like to read 'em. I should have reviews of three other books between tomorrow and Sunday there as well.


Anonymous said...

Denys Cowan actually is drawing the Question book.

Anthony Strand said...

Also, Geoff Johns is writing the Hawkman book (which, this revival of a 1960s title obviously isn't the same series he wrote a years back, but it's the same Hawkman.)

LurkerWithout said...

I don't think Mephisto would cow Doom either. I mean Dr. Doom has had two really defining motivations. Showing up the cursed Richards. And going to Hell to bitchslap Mephisto and redeem his mother's soul...

Bella's owner said...

Denys Cowan actually is drawing the Question book.

That's cool. Where did you hear that, and did you hear about the rest of the artists in the same place?

I don't think Mephisto would cow Doom either.

Huh. Yeah, it's really hard to think of anyone that could put Doom in his place either. Like Namor, Doom seems like the sort who thinks he could take anyone, or will take on anyone, even if it doesn't seem at all logical he could win.

Maybe Mephisto was holding a Wile E. Coyote-style sign that said "Listen to Osborn and you can have your mom back" when Osborn opened the door...?

Jeremy said...

I've wondered about that Cabal scene as well. It seems that most people have assumed it was the Sentry, but I don't really think that's ever been established.